Operating losses double at Revolut as staff costs surge

Company had 14.5 million retail customers at the end of last year

Revolut, which was valued at $5.5 billion (€4.6 billion) in its last private fundraising round, is looking at raising more money in the coming months.

Revolut, which was valued at $5.5 billion (€4.6 billion) in its last private fundraising round, is looking at raising more money in the coming months.

 

Revolut, one of Europe’s largest startups, saw its operating losses double to £201 million (€234 million) in 2020 as rapid growth around the globe caused staff costs to surge.

Administrative expenses at the fintech company co-founded by Nikolay Storonsky rose to £266 million , compared to £125 million in 2019, according to the company’s latest annual report.

That was driven by 170 million pounds of staff costs, almost triple the previous wage bill, and higher spending on functions like risk and compliance.

“We want to keep investing in growth,” chief executive officer Nikolay Storonsky said in an interview this month. The company is working on expanding its cryptocurrency offering, he said.

Gain

Adjusted revenue, which included a £39 million-pound gain on the group’s cryptocurrency holdings, rose 57 per cent to £261 million, driven by fees on prepaid cards and a surge in new clients, according to the annual report.

The company had 14.5 million retail customers at the end of last year, up 45 per cent, while commercial customers doubled to more than half a million.

The current year started positively, said newly-appointed Chief Financial Officer Mikko Salovaara. Revenues increased by more than 130% in the first quarter, according to a company press release.

The startup, which was valued at $5.5 billion (€4.6 billion) in its last private fundraising round, is looking at raising more money in the coming months, Storonsky said, without giving further details. Sky News reported in April that Revolut was in the process of hiring US-based investment bank FT Partners to advise on a new equity fundraising that would value it at more than $10 billion.

Licence

The company has recently applied for a full banking licence in the U.K. and hopes to be granted one next year as talks progress with regulators. It has submitted a request in the US too, although “the process is not as fast as I wanted,” Mr Storonsky said.

Mr Storonsky also said Revolut is working on expansion plans that could include Latin America, the Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea and India. It might consider acquisitions in some countries to speed up the process of acquiring banking licenses.

A stock market listing, however, is not in Revolut’s immediate plans, according to Mr Storonsky. “We don’t have a target in mind,” he said. – Bloomberg